Young and old, male and female, everyone is on social media, and for many, it plays an important role in their lives. Since Covid and lockdown restrictions, this tendency has increased. Businesses have used this knowledge to their advantage to communicate their marketing programs to consumers and increase sales. The healthcare field has also adopted certain strategies to leverage the widespread use of social media by patients. We examine how this convergence of social media and communication by medical professionals is being addressed by the various role players.
Public Health And Social Media
From the nurse or doctor to the healthcare manager and leadership, medical professionals are bridging the gap between social media and health informatics systems. For example, patients want access to their medical records and lab test results. Public health leaders have a duty to educate citizens on health care, risk factors, treatment options, and other knowledge to support health care plans and programs. An example is a program that promotes the breastfeeding of babies over bottle feeds.
Doctors And Social Media
When looking for a new doctor, mental health professional, dentist, or hospital most people will perform an online search as well as speak to friends and family for recommendations. Reviews are generally trusted by consumers, and they use these to gauge the suitability of professional clinicians and their service delivery competence. Studies indicate that 44% of consumers who check for medical services online go ahead and book an appointment. It is vital that doctors make use of this information to provide a concise profile of their services, vision, and experience in certain areas.
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are ideal platforms for doctors to provide information about their medical practices to prospective patients. They can also encourage direct engagement with their patients. Rather than waiting for an appointment, a patient who can message the doctor treating them to enquire about the side effects of a recently prescribed medicine will feel more confident in the treatment plan and that the doctor cares about their wellbeing.
Doctors can play a facilitation role by being available on their online forums to get patients to connect with one another. This can entice patients to form their own online community to share discussions on health issues. Additionally, a doctor’s forum provides a channel for educating patients about the importance of health topics, such as having a healthy gut, eating for wellness, and the reasons why exercise is necessary.
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Social media is also a tool for medical professionals to communicate with one another. This can make them aware of newly available treatments and their efficacy, the results of research studies on certain diseases, and recently released medications. The Southern Medical Association noted that 88% of doctors make use of the internet and social media to gain knowledge on biotech data and medical tools or equipment.
Nurses And Social Media
Whereas doctors provide primary care, the role of nurses should not be overlooked. Nurses can also make use of social media to assist mothers and their children with useful information, such as different types of rashes and childhood diseases like measles and chicken pox. Teaching mothers how to get a difficult toddler to eat a healthy diet or cope with a teenager with bulimia are other examples. They can assist children of parents who have suffered a stroke on how to handle dysphagia and recommend the Simply Thick Instagram channel for more information on treatments to overcome their difficulty in swallowing
Social media is another tool in the arsenal of medical professionals to provide superb care to their patients.